Libyan navy says rescues 107 illegal immigrants off western coast

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-25 01:24:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TRIPOLI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan navy on Sunday announced 107 illegal immigrants were rescued off the country's western coast in two separate operations.

"Coast guards rescued 57 illegal immigrants off Tripoli's coast (in the first operation), while a second operation rescued 50 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities," Libyan navy spokesman told Xinhua.

The rescued immigrants have been taken to a reception center in the capital Tripoli, the spokesman said.

A day earlier, the Libyan navy announced 383 illegal immigrants were rescued off the western Libyan coast in five different operations.

On Nov. 22, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on the European Union and the African Union for an urgent shift in approaching the situation of illegal immigrants in Libya.

IOM estimated that more than 8,600 illegal immigrants have been returned to overcrowded detention centers in Libya, where the United Nations documented "unacceptable conditions, violations of human rights and disappearances."

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya, because of the insecurity and chaos that have plagued Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled its former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The UN Higher Commission of Refugees has repeatedly said Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of refugees because of the deteriorating security conditions.

Libya's east-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting since early April over control of Tripoli, an armed conflict that claimed many lives including immigrants.